Technology is not just a tool but much more than that… there is fun, learning, evolving, interacting, connecting, sharing, and so much happiness in being able to do what you were earlier not able to. Arthur C. Clarke wrote: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ I tend to agree with him because with every innovation that smartphones put in my hands, I experience a thrill that is unbeatable. I remember the time when I was reluctant to buy my first mobile phone because I felt it would be an unnecessary intrusion in my private life. I resisted this change for months until my son said, ‘You will no longer need to wait until you reach a pay phone to tell your boss that you’re on leave. Your vacation begins on a moment of your choosing.’ I was suitably impressed and believe me I have not regretted investing in the latest gadget from that point onward.
However, there are many around me who still resist the thrusts of technology and today I list five questions that they allow to keep them in the dark ages. I hope my answers will remove some of the fog that surrounds such slumbering minds.
Do we lose our common sense?
‘Ah! With technology, the joy of training your mind to do hours of mental maths is lost,’ they say. They’re so much off the track. Your smartphone today helps you compute all your calculations faster and error-free. It keeps a track of your appointments, list of birthdays and anniversaries, deadlines, things to buy on your way back home… and reminds you without hesitation of all that will help keep your life streamlined. Now, what else is common sense all about?
Well, even if all this fails to move me to act, there is always my wife on Whatsapp to message me a last minute reminder to wish my mother on her birthday or recharge the 3G or 4G data subscription on time. Directly or indirectly, technology deters me from not doing things on time and making a fool of myself. Technology makes me idiot-proof.
These are just a few of the cool things that your Android (or any other OS) smartphone does.
Do we become powerful without knowing how to use this power?
My smartphone, like most others, has the ability to record audio and I use it while interviewing people. I don’t need to carry dictating machines any more. I have the power to document my moments in my hands.
I have apps like the textgrabber to convert the text on an image into an editable format and I don’t waste any time writing or punching in all these details that I wish to include in my article. This is power, isn’t it?
Simple apps like the alarm or Google maps are powerful enough not to allow me to lose my way any time. It is all cool, right? Technology is cool.
Does technology lead to inefficiency?
No, it doesn’t. Look at the way the camera in smartphones is getting better and more powerful… some people think that photography through smartphones is making this art inefficient. They’re wrong. Even our PM loves clicking selfies on his smartphone and uploads them on Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms to connect to the masses. Is he getting inefficient?
I think we have a rather cool #Technocrat PM leading the nation.
Do we drown in hard work and confusion with technology by our side?
Come on now, does swyping your way to writing an article faster make you inefficient? Life is all about re-inventing yourself and learning new skills that are targeted to make your output efficiency-ready and this need not be defined as hard-work or confusion. Even Bill Gates says, ‘Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.’ So if you’re young and lost, seek the right teacher… or if you’re an adult and you think you do not understand your smartphone completely, ask your teenager son.
By the way, practice is what makes technology seem cool!
Is technology the surest way to ruin?
With battery life getting better, charging batteries getting faster, processors needing less power, storage coming in multiple options, and apps for every conceivable action being created, ruin of the human race is farthest. We are, in fact, evolving.
Is mobile banking, payment through mobiles, e-commerce portals, calling a cab whenever you want it, and using QR codes to give you access to information to be seen as signs of ruin? No. These are indicators that technology is finally moving at a pace that the human mind and human adaptability have always yearned for.
Technology points us the right direction at the right time in the right way, making us all #Technocrats in an evolving world. So yes, technology is not pointless.
23 November 2015